In the state of Washington, domestic violence isn’t a single crime; it’s a general term identified as such through any number of situations, such as stalking, sexual assault, inflicting bodily harm or physical injury—occurring between members of the same family or household. If you have been charged with any of these, you should hire a reliable Tacoma criminal lawyer who can defend you against the allegations.
For the state domestic violence laws to apply, the parties involved should fall under the definition of “family and household members”. According to lawyer Ave Mince-Didier’s article in Nolo.com, this includes:
- spouses and former spouses
- domestic partners and former domestic partners
- people who have children together
- adults related by blood or marriage
- adults who live together or who have lived together
- people over the age of 16 who live together or who have lived together and who are or were romantically involved
- people over the age of 16 who are dating
- parents and children (including stepparents and stepchildren), and grandparents and grandchildren.
Defense Tip #1: Abide by the no-contact order
When you are being charged with domestic violence, the judge will write a no contact order (this will depend on the gravity of the purported threat or violence) that prohibits you from having anything to do with the alleged victim. Be sure to abide by this rule to the letter—this way, you won’t be perceived as an aggressor.
Defense Tip #2: Check the self-defense angle
Domestic violence charges can also be tagged under a situation where you acted in self-defense. The doctrine has it that a defendant could be justified in using this assumption if he believes in good faith that using physical force against the victim is the best way to protect himself against the latter’s use of unlawful force.
Defense Tip #3: Assail Burden of Proof
In most cases, the burden of proof in criminal proceedings lies in the prosecutor. In short, it is the plaintiff’s job to provide evidence of the defendant’s unlawful acts, and the latter to present the burden of rebuttal. This is a common defense against domestic violence, and if the prosecution couldn’t come up with sufficient proof, the charge could end up with an indication of reasonable doubt.
If you want to make sure that your rights are defended against an allegation of domestic violence, call up your trusted criminal attorney in Tacoma. Thanks to criminal defense lawyers like Kim E Hunter, PLLC, people don’t have to suffer through the consequences of a questionable accusation for domestic violence, or other reputation-scarring crimes.
(Source: Washington Domestic Violence Laws, NOLO)